Writing and essay prompts are a great learning tool to help you focus on a particular subject or topic and practice writing on that topic using proper sentence structure and development. Writing prompts are meant to open up the imagination as well as the creativity within; to improve these skills you are learning and feel connected to your writing. When you succeed at writing prompts, you will take your writing to a whole new level.
Studying Writing Prompts
How well you write will depend on the skills you are taught and more importantly, the skills you practice in order to gain speed and knowledge. Understanding writing prompts is not all that simple. In fact, many students will not do very good at all because they misunderstood the concept of the writing prompt they were assigned to. Before you write, you need to learn how to better understand your writing prompt. Understanding the prompts will direct your writing in the direction it is supposed to go.
Understand your Writing Prompt
Before you start, take the time to answer the following questions to help you understand your prompt better.
What is the writing form associated with this writing prompt?
What is the main reason for this prompt?
What information should I include?
What are the details or conflicts that I can include?
What audience am I targeting?
How will my writing style differ from what the audience is expecting?
If you answer these questions, you can get a good start on the outline of your essay, which, in its turn, will help you put your thesis together more productively. To begin, simply answer these questions in one sentence. Often, students don't use their writing prompts correctly in their pre-writing, which will ultimately change their end goal. This way will help you in all your writing assignments. The ultimate goal is to improve your writing skills and your final writing grade.
How Important is the Writing Form?
It's important to know what the correct writing form is before you begin. You need to determine if your writing prompt is narrative, persuasive, or expository. While some writing prompts will be specific, others will not, and you must form your own option of the writing style through the directions given. For example, if your instructions use the word "persuade" then you will most likely want to use a persuasive form of writing.
It's better to take the time to observe the details and instructions on writing your assignment correctly than to hurry through it and do it wrong. It just takes a short list like this one below to determine which direction your writing should go in. Look for the following keywords to determine the proper way to write:
If you see the words: how, define, compare and contrast, what, or analyze in your instructions, your essay should be expository
If you see the words: why, argue, opinion, convince or persuade in your instructions, your essay should be persuasive
If you see the words: tell, imagine, relate, story, or describe in your instructions, your essay should be narrative.
Once you learn the keywords, you will know what direction your writing will need to go in order to complete your assignment correctly.
Standardized Test Practice Should Include Writing Prompts
Writing prompts can also be used to help students get ready for the standardized tests. These tests include the ACT and the SAT. Writing prompts are given out according to the age group they are for and often focus on contemporary social problems. It's always a great idea to prepare yourself by keeping up with current events as well as participating in a group discussion. Join a reading group that encourages fiction and nonfiction books with the discussion. Learn to feel more comfortable with your writing prompts so that when you need to take these standardized tests, you will be comfortable with the extensive writing part of the test.
Creative Writing Prompts for Every Day of the Year
There is no better way to hone a skill than to practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to come up with a writing prompt every day. Below, you can find a list of creative writing prompts, one for every day of the year. Use these creative writing prompts to write poems, short stories, or even to keep a journal. The main focus here is to use your imagination and just keep writing.
360+ Creative Writing Prompts for you to Use as Inspiration
Looking out of the window, what do you see right now? What is the weather like or what do you wish were going on outside that window?
Loving someone who doesn't love you back. How does or would that make you feel.
You are on a ship or in your favorite vehicle, and you can go anywhere in the world. Where will it take you?
Dancing frees the soul. Who is dancing and why do they want to dance?
What will be on your menu today for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Write a poem about meeting someone important in your life in a cafe.
Two people see each other for the very first time.
Today a rocket ship blasts off and its destination is set for the moon or another far away Galaxy.
Remember your most recent dream and write about it.
Decide on one animal and write about it
What is your friendship like with someone?
Picture a dragon. Do you fight your dragon or is the dragon your friend? Use a detailed descriptive language.
Poems that start with the word, "hello." You can write a short story that starts with this word instead.
Write a poem using a letter from your own collection or one that you are familiar with.
Read a book. Randomly select a page in the book and circle a few words. Now use those circled words to create a poem. You can cut words out of magazines too.
Did you overhear a conversation recently? If so, turn that conversation into a short story, journal entry, or even a poem.
What are you addicted to? Go into detail about your addiction.
Select a word randomly from the dictionary. What does that word mean to you?
Housework is for everyone, including writers and artists. Write about your everyday housework chores and activities.
Who do you admire and why?
Go to craigslist.org and find the "Missed Connections" section. Inside that section, you will find stories from random people. Use a story and write about it.
Your close friend or family member lost their home due to foreclosure. Tell their story through a poem or a short story.
You can't see in front of you because of fog, smoke, or haze. Write about your experience.
What has so much sugar in it that it hurts your teeth just thinking about it?
What numbers or any other figures are important to you and why?
What are some things that you dread doing?
Being scared - what scares you and how do you react to fear?
You see a closed door. What is behind it? Why does it stay closed?
Shadow someone for the day. Tell the story through shadowing.
What gives you good vibes and makes you happy?
Spending money is fun. Talk about how you spend money and what do you have on your wish list this year?
What teacher influenced you the most? Write about it.
Take a poem or even a short story and rewrite it using your own words.
Take a piece of your jewelry and write about it.
Give yourself an hour to just sit outside with no electronics. Listen to all the sounds around you. Write about the sounds.
There is always a conflict of some sorts. Write about the most recent conflict that happened to you.
Write some of your favorite phrases or write a poem and then frame it and hang on your wall.
You are putting a puzzle together. Write about it.
Step-by-step instructions on how to build a fire.
Write about drinking coffee, when to drink it? What do you like in it?
Someone you know just got their driver's license. Write about it.
Secrets - Write about a secret you are still keeping from someone or someone may be keeping from you, but you already know about it.
You are inside an old abandoned building that was once a warehouse. Write about it; what you see, hear, smell, picture.
You want to do something but you can't. Write about remaining silent when it would feel so good just to scream.
Have you been insulted by someone? Write about it.
What if you had a mirror that talked to you. What would it say to you?
Write a poem on the topic of getting muddy.
You enter a dark room and finally find a light switch. What do you feel and see?
Look up in the night sky. What do you see? Does it inspire you?
Write a poem about a joke.
Saying no to someone can sometimes make you feel more powerful. Write about it.
First, you see the sunrise, and then you see the sun setting. It's a never-ending cycle. Write about it.
Have you heard of memory lane? Take it up a step. What does this lane look like if you were asked to describe it? How would you give directions to it?
You see a movie that makes you cry or feel very sad. Write a poem about one part in the movie.
Write a poem about one of your diary entries in the past.
How did it feel to hold someone's hand for the first time? Write about it.
You see a picture that catches your eye. Write a short story or journal entry about it.
Write about setting your alarm clock and waking up.
What inspires you in the dark?
Do you remember a time that you felt renewed or refreshed? Maybe on vacation or sipping lemonade on a very hot day? Write about feeling refreshed.
You are holding something very fragile. Write about it.
Two of your best friends are fighting, and you are put in the middle. Write about it.
You make mistakes like everyone else. Write about your mistakes.
Name a spice that you absolutely love.
You hear a song on the radio. Rewrite the words and turn it into a poem of your own.
Take a phone conversation you had recently and write about it.
Use your name in a poem
You live in a dollhouse. Write a story describing life in a dollhouse.
Go to www.wikipedia.com and click on Random Article. What article subject did you get? Write about it.
Extreme sports or sports that someone makes up can inspire you to create your own game with your own rules. Write about it.
Your favorite recipe can be turned into a short story. Write about it. You could also write about something abstract, like feelings.
What is your favorite painting and why? Write about it.
When you were younger, you went to a special place. Now that you are all grown up, that place is not special anymore like it once was. Write about it.
Who was the last person you talked to and what was your conversation about? Write about it.
You get caught doing something really embarrassing. Write about it.
You get to interview someone that is either fictional or real. What questions would you ask them?
Write about how you feel about missing someone so bad.
Choose a country or a state that you have never been to but would like to go. Why do you want to visit?
Pick up your MP3 player or go to 8tracks.com or Songza.com and choose a song randomly. After listening to a song, write about the song you chose.
Everyone has a hero. Write a tribute to the hero in your life.
Walk down the street with your eyes wide open. Write about the people you see.
Write about a slogan you have seen in an ad recently that caught your attention.
What is your favorite book? Write a ten-line poem about that book.
If you had magic at the touch of your fingers, what would you do with it?
Use your favorite pen or pencil to write a story with.
Take your readers through your daily life; habits and routine included.
What does your muse like and what does she dislike? How are you inspired by your muse?
What is your latest experience with a convenience store or a gas station?
Choose one of the natural wonders of the world and describe it in a short story.
Using your latest Twitter or Facebook status update, write a poem. You can also use your friends status if you prefer. If you don't use social media, search online for one that may inspire you.
Write in detail about growing something.
Does your family share a family heirloom that has been passed down from one generation to another?
Write about an insect that you like or are afraid of.
Create a magic potion. Write a story about what is in it, what will it do, and create an antidote for it.
Think about a playground or tree house you have visited or would like to visit when you were a child. Write about it.
Write down the first five adjectives that come to mind. Use them to write a poem or a short story.
Take a fairy tale and rewrite it with a new ending.
Someone has a secret to tell. Write about it.
What makes you smile? Write about it.
What is your favorite season? Write about it.
Normal is different for everyone. What is normal to you? Is normal a good thing? Or is normal bad?
Rewrite something you wrote before.
Tell what you have in your closet and drawers.
Create a secret message from within a story. Use acrostic poetry using the last letters of certain words to create a message to decipher.
Where did you go on vacation? Write about it.
You are overheating. Write about it.
Write a spell. Do you use it for yourself? For other people? For mankind?
You are doing a jigsaw puzzle or crossword. Write about it.
You are taking a chance in your life. Write about it. What happened in the end?
Write a journal entry about going to a street fair or carnival in town.
Write about someone's first time in the city.
What questions would you ask the universe? Be sure to include the answers too.
Write about doing a task quickly.
Write a story about stairs.
Write a story about your neighbor that you can later turn into a poem.
Write about a time that you were hurt physically.
Write a poem about a saint that you know.
Write about a trip to the beach.
What shoes do you like wearing and where do they take you?
Write a poem describing your ex.
Write a short story in from the first person point of view.
Describe a day in the life of a stray.
Describe something that you could sit and stare at forever.
What is your bed like? Describe it in great detail.
Do you like the sounds of fireworks? Some people do, some do not. Describe how they make you feel.
Imagine that you could freeze a moment in your life. What would that moment be? Why?
Do you like alone time or do you prefer to have people around you all the time? Why do you think you like what you like?
What do you know a lot about? Write about what it is you like or know a lot about.
Have you ever made a promise to someone? If so, what was that promise? Did you keep it?
Do you like commotion or does it feel overwhelming to you? Write about how it makes you feel.
Create a poem using headlines in the news for today.
Write a very detailed description of an object that you have a close-up view of.
What is your favorite type of transportation? Write about it.
Create or invent something new. What did you create and how did it improve your life?
Create a love poem that is not so smooth.
Write a poem that uses ladders as the main focal point.
Because there is a holiday for almost every day of the year, look up today's date and see what holidays fall on it. Then write a poem you could put on a greeting card about that holiday.
Create a story using something you see on a favorite blog you like to visit frequently.
Describe the most recent mail you received in a poem form.
What have you shared with someone else lately? Write about it.
Think about a cactus. Write from the cactus point-of-view. You live in a dessert.
Describe a road sign that you have seen lately that is interesting to you.
Focus on a piece of furniture in your home. Write about it.
Write about one time that you failed at doing something. Did you give it another try or give up? Why do you think you did what you did? Do you regret your decision? Are you proud of it?
Are angels inspiring to you? Write about it or a mystical creature that you find interesting.
You have wings. Write what you would do with them.
What if you could see through something? A wall? Through people, maybe? Write a poem about it.
Using a voice recorder, record yourself saying something. Play it back and write down what you say. Revise your words into a short story.
Listen to drum loops or just music with a good rhythm but no words. Now create your words to the beat.
Do a search on color palettes. Write about a color that you find interesting.
Pick up your favorite magazine and write something based on the first five sentences you read.
Switch places with someone and tell a story about your experience.
Everyone needs motivation. Write something that will inspire others to workout and exercise.
Write about a heart, square, or maybe a circle; something that would take shape on a page.
Write about what happened on your last birthday.
Write a poem about aromatherapy.
Using onomatopoeia, write a poem.
Write about this moment. What are people doing? What are you doing? What happens normally at this time? Be sure to tell what time it is now.
Do you like to party? Or do you hate it? Write your thoughts about partying.
Write a poem using polite words, such as "Thank you" and "Please."
Take something that you could use a cliche in and rewrite it without using the cliche.
Going green. What is your concern?
Write about missing someone special.
You had to let something or someone go. Write about how it made you feel.
Feeling left out? Write about it.
You need to get ready for a trip, or you need to unpack after returning home. Write about it.
What do you think about elves, fairies, or gnomes? Write a story using them.
Write about the process of giving and receiving.
Close your eyes and try to imagine standing in front of a bakery. What do you smell? Write about it.
You build a secret hideaway or a treehouse that no one can see. Write about it.
Write about doing something risky.
Choose an acrostic word and write a poem with the first words starting with each letter in that word.
Find a crossword puzzle and use the clues in it to inspire your next short story.
Find something good in a bad situation and write about it.
You have a pair of gloves. Describe those gloves. What type of gloves are they? Are you wearing them or is someone else wearing the gloves? Why are they being worn?
Write a poem about something that is shiny.
Write a short story or a journal entry on jealousy.
Have you seen flowers growing healthy in unusual places? Write about it.
Write about what you may see or experience in a courtroom if you had jury duty.
Write about a present you got from someone or a gift that you gave to someone.
You are running away from something or maybe someone. Write about it.
What have you discovered lately? Let it inspire your next entry.
Have you got a complaint? Write about it.
Write about what you are thankful for.
Write a poem using your favorite element in the periodic table.
Write a story about someone who would deserve a standing ovation when they entered a room.
Think about your favorite older poem and use the last line in that poem to create the first line of a new poem.
What do you want to do really bad? Go on a trip? Try something new? Write about it.
Write a poem that would motivate someone.
Imagine you found the end of the rainbow. Describe it.
You get to visit a museum on your own one day. You can take your time and look through everything. Write about what you think would be most important and stand out to you.
What is your favorite cartoon? Write about it.
Take a line from a poem that was created by someone famous a long time ago. Use any line in that poem to create your own one.
You are standing on the top of your roof, and everyone gathers below to hear what you have to say. What are you going to say?
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
For one day, you can be someone else. Describe what happens.
Where do you like to go the most in your neighborhood?
You are on a pirate ship. Write about it.
You read an interview recently. Write about it.
When you were a child, where did you like to hide? Do you like to hide there today? Write about it.
You can change your hair color, buy new clothes, and completely change your style. What would it look like?
Write about compassion you may have for another person.
Write a poem using two things that are opposites.
You are bored. Make a list of things that you can do to feel entertained.
Do you remember feeling emotionally or physically strong. Write about it to inspire others.
You are hungry and have no at all money to buy food. Write about it.
You have money, power, and fame but you want more. Write about feeling greedy.
There is a volcano near you that is about to erupt. Write about it.
Watch a video on Vimeo.com or YouTube.com. Write something about that video.
What makes you sneeze? Write about it.
Is there life in outer space? Write about the possibilities.
Romeo and Juliet's story took place a long time ago. Write a modern version of this love story and keep it short.
What is your favorite font? Write a poem using your favorite font.
Find inspiration for today's writing in your schedule.
Remember a story about your grandparents. Write about it.
Cut out words in a magazine that catch your attention and use them to create a poem.
You are alone. What do you do during this time? Do you have to be around someone all the time or do you do well on your own?
Have you ever seen a waterfall? How did it feel? Write about it.
Talk about your first kiss in a short story form or a journal entry.
Have you ever found yourself in an ironic situation? Write about it.
Write a limerick.
You are in the grocery store. Write about your experience.
Find a style that you are in love with either in a magazine or online. Write about it.
What does it feel like to be close to reaching your goals? Write about it.
Write a poem about sitting at a bar.
Have you met a friend online? Write about your experience.
Do you have someone that you admire? Write about it.
You are a garbage collector for a day. Write about your experience.
Find a piece of mail that you recently received. Write a poem about it.
You just got out of the shower. Write about it.
You have reached a low energy moment in your day. Write about how it makes you feel.
Write a silly poem that rhymes. Make up words to make it more silly.
You call in and get tech support. Write about your conversation.
You are working at a hotel. Write about your experiences. What will you see? What will you do?
Write about an underwater adventure you have.
Clear your mind with some simple deep breathing exercises. What is the first thing that pops back into your mind? Write about it.
Write a lie about yourself.
Using the latest obituary in the local newspaper, imagine that person's life and write about it.
Go through your pockets. What do you have in there? Write about something.
Write a Cinquain poem.
Use every letter of the alphabet to create a poem of your own.
Write something that was inspiring to you from a comedian.
Someone you know of is being unfaithful. Write about it.
Try writing a Sestina Poem.
You witness an argument between two people. Write about it from your perspective.
Visit social media websites and write about something you have seen that was interesting.
Write about what gives you inner peace and serenity.
What do you imagine seeing in the clouds? Watch the clouds go by for a day and put it into words.
Sit down on a park bench and look around. Write about what you see, the colors and the scenes. Write about all the emotions you go through while sitting there.
Try writing a sonnet.
Use the words would, could, and should in a poem.
Go through a simple step-by-step process on how to do something.
Write a poem using alliteration.
You are playing a card game. Write about it.
Write for five minutes. Write anything and everything that you can think of in those five minutes. It doesn't have to make sense, just whatever pops into your head.
Write about how you feel when you dance.
You need to raise awareness for a cause that you support. Put it in the form of a poem.
You have a magic trick. Write about it.
You find a box. You open it up. What do you find inside?
What has impacted your life in a positive way?
You lost your favorite childhood toy. Write about it.
What does your favorite gemstone mean? Write about it.
You can use your remote to fast forward or rewind to a point in your life. Write about it.
What has symbolic meaning to you? Write about it.
Remember a time in your life that seemed hopeless. How did you get through this time? Write about it.
You are a passenger on a train. Write about the cargo the train was carrying.
What do you think inspired the phrase, "Where there's smoke, there's fire"?
What words would you find on an office clipboard? Write about it.
You are stranded on an island after being shipwrecked. Write about it.
What popular quote do you like to refer to from a speaker? Write about how it has inspired you.
Form a mind map using whatever comes to your mind. Then write a poem or journal entry with the results of your map.
What patterns repeat in your life? Write about it.
You find a scrapbook. Write about the memories you find when you open it up.
Can you find a cure for an illness? Write about it.
Find the subjects in your email that you receive today and use it for inspiration.
What do you wish for?
Doodle for about ten minutes today. Look at your doodle and write something.
You are a student in a classroom. Looking at the chalkboard, write about what you see on it.
Write about something sticky.
You have one flashlight, and the room is extremely dark. Write about what pops up in your imagination.
You have traveled to a fictional place. Write about it.
You are living in the country. Write about your new setting.
Make a promise to yourself and plan to keep it.
You see a brick wall in front of you. Write about what is on the other side and why is there a brick wall in front of you to begin with.
You were once faced with a difficult choice. Tell about it in today's journal entry.
You had to repeat yourself because someone wasn't listening. Write about it.
Write about someone that may be an outcast.
You have monsters under your bed. Write about it. They don't have to be scary monsters.
What have you sacrificed before in order to make a difference to another person? Write about it.
Write a poem about beauty flaws.
You have a birthday. Write a poem about it.
Make a list of ten story titles and ten poem titles and then choose one to write for today.
You have a job interview. Write about it.
Someone you know is sick, and you can write a poem that will tell them to get better soon.
What does it feel like to get lost in a crowd?
Write about staying healthy.
What are you craving? Write about it.
Do some research on phobias and then choose one and write about it today.
You are in the present moment. Write about it.
You are merrily walking down a sidewalk. What is it that you are seeing?
Today, you will write about the sky and the stars you see. What does it mean to you?
You see an old abandoned farmhouse. Write about it.
Do you have clutter in your home? Go through a little bit of the clutter today and write about what you find.
Fly a kite and then write about the experience.
Find a channel on your television and write about the first thing you watch.
Write a poem about your favorite or not-so-favorite fruit.
Using your imagination, write about the struggles of a couple who are trying to keep up a long distance relationship.
Write about wearing glasses.
You have a robot. Write about it.
What do you find adorable? Write about it.
Remember your favorite movie? Try remembering your favorite conversation within that movie and write about it.
What comes effortlessly to you? Write about it.
Write about an idiom today.
Remember being a child on the playground. Write about this memory.
What are five romantic things partners can do for each other?
You are a rock star who is famous. Write about what you experience.
Objects are coming to life. Write about this experience.
You have met someone on an airplane. Write about what you would talk about.
Write a poem about what the labels say on the items you have in your medicine cabinet.
Write about being and feeling determined for inspiration to others.
Listen to instrumental music. Write a poem matching the beat.
You have to wait in line. Write about how that makes you feel.
What is your personality type? Write about what makes your personality unique.
Choose a decade and write what it is most popular for.
What beliefs do you have and why?
Write about something you lost.
You have a story that you want to tell to someone. Write it in a poem form.
Write a letter that you never send.
Tell an interesting story through someone else's perspective.
What did you learn the hard way?
You have a favorite recipe. Write about it.
Pull out an old receipt and write about it. What did you pay for? When? If you bought something, what did you buy it for?
Visit the bank and write about the experience.
Talk someone into something using sweet talk.
Something good happened through chance. What was it? Describe your experience.
How does it feel when you can't focus.
You will write about big business today. Choose a compnay that already exists or make up an ideal company you would like to run/work for.
What is the word of the day? Write a journal entry about it.
You need a pick-me-up. What is it?
You need to escape. Where would you go? Why do you need it?
What project have you started but never finished?
You were forgiven by someone. Write about why they needed to forgive you and how it went. Did you need to be forgiven?
What is your one great weakness?
You want to start on a project. Write about it.
Gears and moving parts on a machine. Write about the mechanical features of something.
You have done an act of kindness. Write about it.
You live in an underground home. Imagine what it would be like and write about it.
You love the classic rock love ballads. Pick one and rewrite it into a poem.
You stay up late at night. Write about what you feel.
What is it about magnetic attraction to someone? Have you ever experienced the feeling? Would you like to?
You are a part of a team with one common goal. What is it like to work together?
What are the ups and downs in your life?
Do motivational posters actually motivate? Write a poem about them.
Write about games that are being played literally as well as figuratively.
Write about a turning point in your life.
Write a spell for a witch.
Write about a special date on your calendar.
Do you play the lottery or casino? Write about what it would be like to win.
You are on a picnic. Write about it.
What do you see in a garage? Write about it.
Review your journal entry a month ago. Write about it in poem form.
You are a detective searching to solve a mystery. Write about your findings.
Go for a walk and bring your camera. Take some beautiful pictures. Describe what your photos look like when you get back home.
You are visiting a friend from high school or a family member. Write about it.
You trust someone in your life. Write about it.
You did it. You have written in your journal, created short stories, or wrote poems every day for a year. Now write about what this achievement has taught you and continue another year of writing these prompts every day. You will get different inspirations every time you use these as your guideline.
Few final tips to consider when you are polishing up your writing skills. First, try to practice free writing. Just take a pen and write everything that comes to mind. Sooner or later, you will see that your mind is way more creative than you could have guessed. And yes, free writing may seem silly at first, but it is an amazing way to take your writing skills to a totally new level.
Once you master free writing, try a more serious approach. As you should already know, any essay (including SAT paper) is based on the thesis. This is the main statement of any academic work, and if you want to ace your exam, you will have to practice creating compelling thesis statements. Once again - no need to worry. It is easier than it seems at first. The best thesis is:
In other words, you have to create a statement that has actual meaning in everyday life - yours, your peers, or the society in general. It should not be too obvious; it should be something people can argue with. And finally, it should be expressed in a sentence - maximum, two.